Tripp Eisen is Pissed at Static-X
Tripp Eisen has found another excuse to remind people that he exists.
For those who don’t recall: in the early aughts, the guitarist bounced from Dope to the Murderdolls to Static-X before he became a convicted sex offender, at which point, understandably, nobody wanted to hire him anymore. Since 2016, he’s tried to revive his career with at least one not-very-good band (there may have been two — I can’t remember and I’m not gonna look it up because fuck this guy anyway), which has gone pretty much how you’d guess it would.
And then he caught a lucky break this year when Static-X reactivated and began to cull previously-unreleased recordings by the late Wayne Static for a new album, Project Regeneration. In June, Eisen (né Tod Rex Salvadore) claimed that “there’s a lot of my material in this project — some of the old songs I wrote with Wayne, going back to that, and even a new song,” said that he and the other surviving members of the band have been “working together” on the album “for a couple of years.” To the surprise of no one, it took about fifteen seconds for Static-X to release a statement distancing themselves and Project Regeneration from their disgraced former guitarist:
“That guy was in static x for a couple years prior to HIS OWN personal troubles. His issues have NOTHING TO DO WITH US!!! … He was a co-writer on songs with Wayne & the band in the past. Some of those old songs ended up being tracks that Tony and the producers recovered some of Wayne’s unreleased, isolated vocals on.
“Those isolated vocals have never been heard and they are very special and some of the final pieces of art that Wayne left behind.
“Clearly, the guy you mentioned is promoting his new band by mentioning his PAST involvement with Static-X and he is attempting to gain credibility through his PAST association.”
Now Eisen has released a new pair of lengthy statements on the issue (via a random, barely-functional website called speedyturtles.com), one of which is a “concise” (but still very long) version of the other. In these statements, Eisen alleges that Static-X have been “altering” songs he wrote with Wayne for Project Regeneration, and argues that this is a shitty thing to do.
Oh, and he also re-iterates that Edsel Dope is the Wayne Static stand-in known as ‘Xer0,’ despite Edsel denying this to be the case.
Is Eisen being truthful? Can anyone blame Static-X for wanting to remove his work from the album? Assuming that they did in fact alter these songs, is that disrespectful to the memory of Wayne Static? And if it is, indeed, disrespectful to Wayne’s memory, is it more or less so than having a guy dressed like him up on stage with the band every night? Read both of Eisen’s statements below, then head to the comments section to debate.
Tour dates and tickets for all Static-X’s upcoming live performances can be found here.
Statement #1 (“Concise” Version)
“My former band Static-X have delayed the release of their first new album in 10 years due, in large part, to my involvement with and legal claim to 12 songs that feature Wayne Static’s isolated vocals. They are all from my era of Static-X.
“I have reached out to Tony Campos on many occasions to help the upcoming album ‘Project Regeneration’ reach the fans but he has been inconsistent and has shown arrogance to any successful resolution of my concern that fans won’t get to hear the fantastic work Wayne and I put into our mutual compositions. I have been patient and am willing to compromise with the band and work with Tony to make things mutually acceptable.
“The 12 songs with Wayne’s vocals have no songwriting from any of the other members of Static-X. I am the only person that collaborated with Wayne on these songs.
“Tony told me they were altering the songs Wayne and I wrote together and I’ve actually heard the full altered songs, because I was in the loop until March of this year. This doesn’t amount to minor tweaks like bands do in the studio, which would not compromise the final product and harm a songwriters’ claim to their own music: It violates the intellectual property of a ‘joint work’, or collaboration. It amounts to band members, who had nothing to do with the songwriting, altering its composition without consent. They’ve changed not only my riffs, but also Wayne’s!
“I believe this is unfair to the fans and lacks integrity. But it also violates Wayne’s memory.
“My heart is heavy, since I was given hope and was excited when Tony accepted my offer to reunite in 2016. This reunion didn’t happen the way it’s been reported. I initiated this reunion. I brought the singer Xer0 to him, a.k.a. my old buddy Edsel Dope. I was involved in the writing of every one of the 15 or more songs that began this project, which includes the song ‘Road To Hell’. I also played all the guitars on the ‘Wisconsin Death Trip’ remake songs. I worked with Tony for a year until the project evolved into the Wisconsin Death Trip anniversary tour and the ‘Project Regeneration’ album.
Then I continued to work behind the scenes and on the songwriting. I was the one that made Tony aware of the 3 leftover songs from the ‘Start A War’ album, ….and they were finished mastered songs, not unfinished demos. There is a lot more to the story about ‘newly discovered’ Wayne vocals from ‘damaged tapes’ with ‘little or no music’ on them. It’s a lot to take in, right? It’s all true and I have it documented.
I”n March of this year I was invited to play on the new album, but turned it down due to this controversy. Tony even told me to my face earlier this year: ‘you’re part of the family’ and I was happy to hear that and things were moving in a positive direction. They had my back and believed in me. But now they are attempting to minimize my part and contributions. But worst of all they are altering songs that Wayne and I wrote. I told Tony when I was in California earlier this year that I am not interested in money/fame as much as the integrity of this project. I don’t care about cashing in on anything, I want it done right. Please make no mistake of my motives here. Static-X and the memory of Wayne are sacred to me.
“I am happy to see the ‘Wisconsin Death Trip’ album and Wayne’s life celebrated, and do not want to take anything away from that at all. But I got this project going, and now I’m being diminished and these Wayne/Tripp songs are being bastardized. I considered Tony, Ken and Edsel/Xer0 as friends. But now it feels like a bunch of guys riding on the back of Wayne’s memory and his music, as well as mine. Plus they are revising history in an attempt to market the band and maintain control of this false narrative. Most of what they state in their press releases are out-and-out lies or distortions. It’s really unnecessary. Is it that hard to be fair and honest? The fact that I have to come out with a statement like this is sad and a result of bad choices by Mr. Campos.
“Wayne once said in an interview: ‘Tripp’s the first person I’ve ever met in my life who’s very similar to the way I am.’ I knew him better than most people; we were tight and everyone on the inside knows it. My 5 years in the band are not just anecdotal. I was there… and I know everyone involved now. I wonder what Wayne would think of this incarnation of his band and all that is going on. ‘Proud and honored’ don’t come to mind…. Anyone can watch the singing skull in the ‘Hollow’ video and see how inappropriate and insensitive it is. I miss Wayne and I truly wish he was here.”
Statement #2 (Extended Version)
“There was a statement made by Static-X back in June about my involvement in the new album. They also made an announcement around the same time that the album was being delayed and now it’s been delayed again. These 2 topics are related. This delay is due in large part, to my involvement with and legal claim to 12 songs that feature Wayne Static’s isolated vocals. I have been very patient, respectful and courteous with the band, out of respect for Wayne’s memory and the fans’ view of the matter. I very much want the album to be released and for the fans to enjoy hearing mine and Wayne’s material, but the band has gotten greedy and they lack respect for the intellectual property of the original songwriters: Wayne and Tripp.
“They altered substantial parts of the songs without my consent and beyond what I believe Wayne would have wanted. Wayne stated in a 2013 interview that I was the only other member of Static-X that wrote whole songs with him. The other guys only contributed a riff here and there, according to Wayne. Unfortunately, there has been a lot of misinformation put out by the band and the organization, so bear with me. I don’t want to sound bitter or out of line, but there are too many things going on that feel wrong to me about Static-X 2019.
“WAYNE’S VOCALS ON 12 SONGS
“I have waited to make any public statement, giving the band ample time to work something out and compromise with regard to the integrity of the songs that Wayne and I wrote back in the day. Within the 12 songs that have Wayne’s isolated vocals are my lyrics and music. The band stated to me that they are also altering Wayne’s material and I’ve heard it myself because I was in the band. They believe they can improve Wayne’s guitar parts. Tony has stated to me personally that he’s not that concerned about authenticity. This seems unfair to the fans and lacks integrity. But it also violates mine and Wayne’s songwriter’s rights. Wayne is not here to offer his opinion, but I am. These songs are precious and sacred to me. And some fans may also care about these details.
“The 12 songs with Wayne’s vocals have no songwriting from any of the other members of the original lineup of Static-X. I am the only person that collaborated with Wayne on these songs. I was the one that made Tony aware of the 3 leftover songs from the Start A War album, and they were finished mastered songs, not unfinished demos. They made claims that the ‘newly discovered’ Wayne vocal recordings are on ‘damaged tapes’, that there is ‘little or no music’ on them. I know the real story about these tapes; the timeline, the circumstances and the content. They recognize that all of this material is very special and these are Wayne’s final pieces of art. But they are also my pieces of art from the 5 years that I was in the band.
“SONGWRITING ON OTHER SONGS
“I also wrote most of the material that was the genesis of this project. I wrote about 15 songs with Tony when this project began; Edsel collaborated on about 6 of them. One new song that I wrote launched this Static-X reunion in October 2018 – ‘Road To Hell’; it’s the lead song on the teaser video and features the original lineup playing to a song that none of them wrote. This was a song that I was originally doing with my band Face Without Fear. The current version of ‘Road To Hell’ is a collaboration by Xer0 and myself.
“Whoever is interested in the new Static-X album should know that my material will be a substantial part of ‘Project Regeneration.’ Most of the songs that contain Wayne’s vocal are either my lyrics or my music underneath, or both. These 12 songs with Wayne’s vocals have no songwriting from any of the other members of Static-X or the original lineup. I am the only person that collaborated with Wayne on these songs.
“I am not here to just attach myself to this project for credibility. I actually started this project! I came to Tony Campos with the proposal of a reunion in September 2016 because I have had this in mind for years. I even was reaching out to Wayne before he passed away. Tony and the guys turned down Wayne’s offer to reunite Static-X in 2013. Wayne and Tony had a very public and ugly feud. Tony accepted my offer to reunite in 2016. I brought the singer Xer0 to him, a.k.a. my old buddy Edsel Dope. The project evolved into the Wisconsin Death Trip anniversary and I agreed to work behind the scenes until a later date (Machine anniversary). I am also the one who made Tony aware that there were 3 unreleased songs with Wayne’s vocals from the Start A War album, of which he had no clue. I had the band’s best interest in mind. So in October 2018 fans got to hear a teaser of ‘Something Of My Own’ and ‘Hollow’ and also one of my new songs ‘Road To Hell’.
“I was involved in the project up until March 2019. I played 100% of the guitars on all of the remakes of the ‘Wisconsin Death Trip’ songs, too. They even invited me to come out to California to play on the album as recently as March. Why would the band work with me for almost 3 years on this? Because they had my back. They believed in me. They felt that my involvement was beneficial and vital to Static-X. They understood that I am a good person and have progressed as a person and made amends for my mistakes in the past. They knew there would be some negativity, but they were prepared to support and defend me as friends and bandmates. They knew I wouldn’t let the past define who I am today. They believed we’d overcome it and move forward. Unfortunately they now don’t have the courage to state this and to be honest with the fans about how they feel. It’s really not that hard to just be honest. And now they made the unfortunate decision to try to minimize not only my role in this current version, but also my history with the band. There really ain’t no need for all that.
“Many of the people I’ve talked to that worked for and with the band and that were close to Wayne up to the end of his life do not approve of what this version of the band has become. Those involved in profiting from this version think it’s just great. It is, of course, nice to see the Wisconsin Death Trip album and Wayne’s life being appreciated by the fans. It’s very nice to hear that Wayne’s family is proud to see their son appreciated and memorialized. We all wish Tony, Ken and Koichi the best, but there’s a notion that Wayne would be less than impressed, maybe even appalled at some of the decisions being made.
“Of course they are going to put a spin on this and try to deny a lot of what i am saying. But i am being honest out of respect for the fans and Wayne’s memory. I have photo proof and digital proof from a lot of our communications over the past couple of years, in case anyone doesn’t believe me. I have made efforts to sort things out and talk to the owner of Static-X, Tony Campos, and we’ve spent hours on the phone and face to face meetings. Tony even said to me earlier this year: “you’re part of the family”. And I was happy to hear that. But it’s been a struggle.
“I considered Tony, Ken and even Xer0 as friends. Now the priorities and tactics have shifted and they’re riding on the back of Wayne’s memory and his music, as well as mine. It may not matter to fans, who can just enjoy the music and memories of Wayne and the band. But truth matters, plan and simple. I feel sad that it’s now necessary to explain things.
“Wayne once said ‘Tripp’s the first person I’ve ever met in my life who’s very similar to the way I am.’ I knew him better than most people; we were tight and everyone on the inside knows it. My 5 years in the band are not just anecdotal. I was there… and I know everyone involved now. I wonder what Wayne would think of this incarnation of his band and all that is going on. Proud and honored don’t come to mind. I love the band and care about the legacy and integrity of Static-X. I am excited about my new band Face Without Fear and happy to have my past collaborations with Wayne appreciated now. Like Tony has said: this is for the fans. And the fans deserve honesty and a true Static-X album, as much as that’s possible without Wayne. I miss the guy and I truly wish he was here.”